I know lots of you make granola, but this stove-top recipe is much better when cooking in hot climates – it is quick and doesn’t use the oven. It’s amazing how insufferable a hot oven becomes in a small galley when it’s already 80 degree outside. And then you add in a few hot flashes and boy life gets cranky.
But how, you ask, do you eat the granola when you don’t have refrigeration for milk or yogurt? So let’s talk about milk options when you don’t have refrigeration. Basically there are two options, both better than you might imagine. Either that or we are really desperate. However without refrigeration neither product will be cold – try it, you’ll get used to it.
About UHT Dairy Products (and non-dairy milk-like products)
In tropical countries they have usually found an alternative to chilled milk products because dairy goes bad so quickly if your refrigeration is absent or undependable. Not to mention shipping and storage issues. In the Bahamas you will often find canned milk, particularly evaporated milk. I’m not a fan. In Mexico UHT products reign. In the big grocery stores you can find UHT Dairy milks and non-dairy milks (I’ve found coconut and almond milks and sometimes others) in great variety – different sizes of containers and different fat contents. For Eurybia I buy the personal size whole milk boxes although they are obnoxiously usually packaged with a plastic straw for immediate consumption. Why not a paper straw?
Sour cream, or its Mexican equivalent Media Crema is also readily available in various size UHT containers. Wonderful! It seems to be a little thinner than normal sour cream, but that hasn’t been a problem for us. I usually buy the smallest containers which hold 250 ml, about one cup.
I have not been able to find the sour cream squeeze bottles that I found in the US. These call for refrigeration but because they touch no contaminants in normal use they last a long time without refrigeration.
I have not found yogurt in UHT containers, although I bet they’re out there. Yogurt lasts several days on the counter as long as you’re careful about contaminants. Of course you can also make your own yogurt, making just enough for a couple of days and then using the last tablespoon to start a new batch.
About Powdered Milk Products
I know you are all familiar with the dried skimmed-milk products. They are pretty bad, but improve if you make them the night before and chill. The flavor is not so “dusty” when prepared like this. However without refrigeration this is not possible. And I prefer full-fat versions since it is the sugars and carbs in milk that are problematic, not the fat. IMHO. But I found powdered full fat milk on Amazon and have seen similar versions here in Mexico. I use this product freely in cooking because it’s so easy – I just mix in the powder with the dry ingredients and add extra water to the wet. But it can also be used for drinking milk or for putting on your granola. This 400 gram Peak brand can makes about a gallon of milk. There is also a highly regarded powdered form of Coconut Milk that I bought on Amazon. I have not tried it yet.
This is quick and fast and just makes about 3-4 cups, perfect for the two of us. I’ve been using honey as the sweetener because we have lots of it and it doesn’t grow mold like my maple syrup tends to without refrigeration. I know I can just swipe off the green, but… yuk. However when I made this at the dock at Puerto Vallarta with honey I was swarmed by honey bees. So many of them that I thought they were yellow jackets at first until I got a closer look. That was a little intimidating at first – a danger of cooking outside (which is basically what we are doing in our galley with companionway and ports all wide open for breeze). But they didn’t sting me and once I covered the cooking pan they eventually left me alone.
- 2 cups oats, old-fashioned style
- 3/4 cup seeds mixture of pumpkin, sesame, sunflower, flax is great
- 3/4 cup nuts pecans, almonds, hazelnuts – all yummy
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1/2 cup coconut
- 1 tbsp ginger, grated
- 2 tbsp honey or maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup dried fruit raisins, cranberries, whatever you have
Combine the oats, seeds, salt, and nuts in a large skillet. Stir over medium-low heat until the oats are fragrant and have turned slightly darker, and the pumpkin seeds are starting to pop. Remove from heat.
Make a hole in the center of the mixture. Drop the coconut oil into the hole and let it melt. Stir in the ginger. Pour the maple syrup over the oil, then gradually stir the oat mixture into the syrupy oil until everything is coated and well mixed.
Let cool throughly. Add in the dried fruit.
This will keep for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container.